48
48

THE PROPERTY OF A LADY

A George III carved giltwood wall mirror

Irish, circa 1770, attributed to Francis and John Booker

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48

THE PROPERTY OF A LADY

A George III carved giltwood wall mirror

Irish, circa 1770, attributed to Francis and John Booker

JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Important Furniture, Silver and Ceramics

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London

A George III carved giltwood wall mirror

Irish, circa 1770, attributed to Francis and John Booker

partially retaining the original oil gilding, the central plate replaced


211cm. high, 120cm. wide; 6ft. 11in., 3ft. 11¼in.
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Provenance

Probably supplied to Richard Rochfort, first Earl of Belvedere ( 1708-74) for Belvedere, Mullingar, Co.Westmeath.

Thence by descent until sold by Rex Beaumont Esq., Christie's London, 23 November 1967, lot 102.


Anonymous sale, Sotheby's London, 17 June 1983, lot 89.

Literature

The Knight of Glin and James Peill, Irish Furniture, 2007, p. 261, pl. 226.

Catalogue Note

The present mirror can be confidently attributed to the Dublin family of craftsmen, the Bookers, who produced a variety of designs for mirrors including a closely related group with marked Palladian architectural characteristics. Fortunately these include examples bearing the original trade label of Francis and John Booker, thus allowing for an attribution of the offered lot on stylistic grounds. The principal features unifying this group consist of a broken or swan-neck pediment centred by a carved urn above a central rectangular plate with border glasses and free-standing fluted columns to the sides headed by composite capitals. A mirror of this configuration retaining a partial trade label to the reverse, recorded in the collection of the Knight of Glin at Glin Castle, sold Christie's London, 7 May, 2009, lot 51 and another in a private collection with provenance from Lt. Col. L. C. D. Jenner, D.S.O. (see The Knight of Glin and James Peill, Irish Furniture, 2007, p. 140, pl. 190 and p. 261, pl. 225).  

John and Francis Booker `Looking Glass Merchants', `glass-grinders' and `glass sellers' were heirs to a family business originally established  by their father John, prior to 1715. They took over the business in 1750 following John senior's death trading from the same premises at 6 Essex Bridge, Dublin and quickly assumed a leading position among the furniture makers of the city. During the following decades they were involved in such major projects as the decoration of Dublin Castle and Majoralty House, Dublin (cf. Geoffrey Wills, English Looking Glasses, 1965, p. 84, figs. 52 and 53; Desmond Fitz-Gerald, `A Family of Looking-Glass Merchants', Country Life, 28th January 1971, pp. 195-199; `Dublin Directories and Trade Labels'. Furniture History, vol. XXI, 1985, pp. 261-262; and `Labelled and Signed Pieces of Irish Craftsmen;, Christie's Review of the Season, 1976, pp. 290-294). Francis Booker became Lord Major of Dublin in 1772, shortly before his death the same year, which occasioned the transfer of the business to his brother John. The business remained at the same premises until 1786 when it moved to Jervis Street and three years later John died which brought about the end of the family concern.

It is probable that the inspiration for the design of John and Francis Booker's architectural mirrors was William Jones's publication The Gentlemen's or Builders Companion containing a variety of useful designs for doors, gateways, peers pavilions, temples, chimney pieces, slab tables, pier glasses, or tabernacle frames, ceiling pieces, etc., 1739. This included a variety related designs including the illustrated example. It is also significant that the book was available for sale in Dublin the same year at Robert Owen in Skinners Row for 12s.

Important Furniture, Silver and Ceramics

|
London